In the case of "independents" who don't publish any policies or commitments, it is very hard to know where they stand.
But, sometimes, during the heat of an election campaign, some make commitments in writing or by email.
In August 2008, election hopeful Scott Sharpe, wrote this email in response to an email from a resident:
At this time I will maintain support for the rail line to Newcastle as I do not believe that a suitable set of conditions has been proposed for its removal. I am particularly concerned as to what might happen to the land if the rail is removed.
However, I am not against moving heavy rail out of the CBD if the correct set of parameters were in place.
a. That light rail replace heavy rail with provision for a conjoint cycleway
b. That a new and integrated transport hub is built at Broadmeadow
c. That the land is dedicated as parkland and is not sold
d. That Scott St and the rail corridor is landscaped and integrated with the CBD
Broadmeadow is a natural centre for a transport hub. The John Hunter, Westfield Kotara, Mater Hospital and Energy Australia Stadium are all key destinations of the city that need to be serviced by public transport. Introducing light rail into the CBD could be an exciting catalyst that would see light rail spread to other key destinations.
Last night at Council, 3 months after the election, newly elected Councillor Sharpe supported the Liberal Party Cr Luke motion to cut the rail, without any of the "parameters" being met.
That Council consider the above list of project opportunities and provide a submission to the Newcastle CBD Taskforce requesting that these projects be included in any recommendations made to the Commonwealth's Infrastructure Australia funding program.
That Council affirms its position on the revitalisation of the CBD and considers the future transport options for the city, in particular the construction of a transport interchange at a future designated high density site. This interchange would link with a bus and ferry system to service the CBD, beaches and the inner suburbs. The Newcastle CBD, with the removal of the existing rail link, would be reconnected with its working harbour and be exposed to recreational and retail connectivity that would generate increased trade and prosperity for the greater Newcastle area.
Note Part B was actually a Notice of Motion from the Liberal Party Cr Luke and Cr Sharpe submitted on the 20th November 2008.
Councillor Sharpe's contact details can be found here.